Category Archives: IDS

Hot Air

He Said, He Said

Was it a “gotcha” moment perpetrated by a Hamilton camp operative? Or did that Indiana University student who questioned Darryl Neher’s progressive credentials in Monday’s IDS do us all a service by exposing the mayoral candidate’s sneakiness?

The question has been raised: Is Darryl Neher a Democrat or a Republican?

I’d thought that was settled long ago. Apparently not.

IDS staffer Andrew Guenther zinged Neher Monday with a piece headlined “One Bloomington; Two Darryls” that calls into question the former Republican’s commitment to the Democratic Party. Guenther wrote that, contrary to repeated public statements by Neher, the current city council member continued to vote in Republican primaries through 2007 and bragged of voting for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election on a now-defunct Internet political forum.

“Darryl Neher,” Guenther wrote, “needs to answer some tough questions before he is ready to run for Mayor of Bloomington.”

The forum, assmotax.org, does not exist at this time and one former participant on it tells me it has been deactivated for some 10 years. The URL does not direct to an active page and a WHOIS search reveals no information about any current owner of the subdomain name.

Neher, acc’d’g to Guenther, has declared that he has “consistently supported and voted for Democrats” since entering graduate school in 1989. Neher’s vote for Bush in 2000 and his participation in six Republican primaries since that time belie his assertion.

“As we can see from his record,” Guenther concludes, “Neher is not [standing by his convictions]. We deserve progress. We deserve honest leaders. We deserve answers.”

As reported here yesterday, Neher addresses his party switch at many or all of his house party campaign events. “There it is: the elephant in the room,” Neher said to a group in the Renwick neighborhood Monday evening when someone asked him about his switch.

Neher 20150309

Darryl Neher [right] Listens To A Supporter

Neher rarely fails to mention that he is progressive to the “core” and that his voting record during his four-year term as city council Dist. V rep demonstrates an unmistakable commitment to Democratic and progressive principles.

I contacted Neher yesterday for reaction to the IDS piece. He sent me a draft copy of his open letter to the Monroe County Democratic Party. Here it is:

To all Monroe County Democrats,

As I run for the Democratic nomination to become Bloomington’s next mayor, some people have asked for an explanation of why I switched party affiliation. I am happy to provide openness and clarity to this question. 

Am I a Democrat? Yes, I am a Democrat to the core. I actively chose to become a Democrat in 2008 because it is the party that represents my values.

Was I formerly a Republican? Yes. I was raised in small-town northern Indiana in a blue-collar Republican household, so this was my family culture. I grew up with a brand of Republicanism that emphasized fiscal responsibility, support for small community businesses, public investment in infrastructure, and a belief in volunteerism and serving the common good.

My personal history helps illustrate the transformation of my politics solidly into the Democratic camp. After life-changing service trips to Sierra Leone, West Africa and San Pedro Sula, Honduras during college, I entered graduate school at IU to study issues of race, gender, and social justice. I researched and wrote about the importance of re-writing our histories to reflect true multicultural impacts on our national identity.  And since entering graduate school in 1989, I have consistently supported and voted for Democrats for local, state, and national offices.

My political transformation accelerated between 1996 and 2006 while I hosted public affairs radio programming. I found myself increasingly critical of Republican politics. The erosion of civil liberties, implementing economic policies that punished working families, attempts to dismantle public education, and   a pervasive “anti-science” mentality made me question “Why am I here?” 

But perhaps a more important factor in finding my political home within the Democratic Party is my deep loyalty to my LGBTQ friends and colleagues. I struggled with how I could in good conscience align myself with a political party that consistently tells people I love that they should be denied so many rights because of who they are; denying my friends the right to marry the person they love, telling them they should silence themselves if they want to serve their country, and often denying them the beauty of adopting a child and providing that child a loving home was simply unacceptable.

I entered politics for the first time in 2011 and consider myself a public servant not as a politician. Our former Party Chair Rick Dietz certified me as a Democrat before I ran for City Council. Three former Democratic Party chairs joined my committee in 2011, and I feel the continued support of strong Democrats in our city on my mayoral campaign committee, including current Mayor Mark Kruzan, State Representative Matt Pierce, County Councilmember Shelli Yoder, and former Democratic Party Chairs Dan Combs and Pat Williams.

My track record on City Council also represents my strong Democratic principles. I am proud to have earned the support of all eight of my Democratic City Council colleagues who selected me to serve as the Council President for two straight years. I co-sponsored our Marriage Equality Resolution and was one of the first public officials to marry same-sex couples in our city. I supported resolutions against Citizens United and for Medicaid Expansion for the Affordable Care Act. I advocated increased funding for Planned Parenthood through my role on the Jack Hopkins Fund committee. I enthusiastically advocated for historic preservation, stood up for tenants’ rights, and voted for public funding of the arts and social services.   

I am a Democrat, I won an election as a Democrat, and I’ve governed as a Democrat. 

If you have further questions, please send them my way at Darryl.Neher@gmail.com. I hope I can earn your trust and support in the Democratic Primary for Mayor. 

Best, Darryl

After receiving this, I sent Neher a list of questions concerning the IDS piece and his party switch. Here they are:

  • What is the “Monroe County/Bloomington forum” the author refers to in paragraph 4?
  • Did you use the screen name “garvey” on that forum? What is the meaning or genesis of the term “garvey”?
  • Did you write that you supported George W. Bush in the 2000 election on that forum?
  • Did you thank voters for supporting you in your campaigns for city council on that forum?
  • Is (or was) that forum called assmotax.org?
  • If the forum was assmotax.org, was it customary for posters to state ideas and claim affiliations that they didn’t necessarily believe in so they could generate discussions on it?
  • Did you state ideas and claim affiliations that you didn’t necessarily believe in on that forum?
  • Did you vote for George W. Bush in the 2000 and/or 2004 presidential elections?
  • Did you vote in Republican primaries in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007?
  • In an earlier email to me today, _______ referred to the author of the op/ed piece as a Hamilton staffer. How does [s/he] know this?

For his part, Guenther is listed as a member of the IDS staff on the newspaper’s website. His articles seem to be more opinion-y, even verging on bloggish. I dug up a Facebook page for someone named Andrew Guenther who studies political science and psychology at IU and who lists his work as “Case Manager at Indiana University Department of Student Rights, Housing Assignment Support Staff at IU RPS and Director of Social Advocacy at IU Residence Hall Association.” This Guenther also mentions that he was a member of Indiana High School Democrats.

I submitted a list of questions to Guenther of the IDS. Here they are:

  • How did you get the idea to check the archive of the defunct website assmotax.org?
  • How do you know Darryl Neher used the screen name “garvey”?
  • Certain members of the Neher camp believe you are working for the Hamilton campaign. Are you? Have you ever? What is your relationship with John Hamilton, Dawn Johnsen, and/or the Hamilton for Mayor operation?
  • Do you have a personal stake in the upcoming mayoral election? That is, do you have a preference for who wins?
  • What is your role at IDS? Are you a reporter or an op/ed writer? Are you both? When you wrote the Neher piece in question, did you do it as a straight reporter or as an opinion columnist?

Hoping to cover all my bases, I submitted a few questions to John Hamilton. Here they are:

  • Does Andrew Guenther work or volunteer for your campaign?
  • Has he ever worked or volunteered for you in any political campaign?
  • Is challenging Darryl Neher’s credentials as a Democrat a strategy or tactic of your campaign?

Hamilton’s answers, in order:

  • “No, he does not.”
  • “Never has, so far as I’m aware.”
  • “No, neither I nor our campaign has a strategy or tactic of challenging Darryl’s credentials as a current Democrat — he was approved to run as one by the party in 2011 and won election and is serving as a Democrat on city council. I and my campaign do view different backgrounds in experience and policies of all the candidates, accurately described, as relevant.”
I’m hoping the other two get back to me with answers today.

Openness

In other mayoral campaign news, I saw longshot candidate John Linnemeier engaged in a tête à tête in a public place with a very prominent member of Mayor Mark Kruzan’s cabinet this morning. I grilled the department head, asking why s/he was meeting with the candidate. This department head said s/he was meeting Linnemeier as a courtesy s/he’d proffer to any citizen. “I’ll meet anyone anywhere,” this person said. The purpose of their meeting? “To exchange ideas.” When asked if the department head was a supporter of Linnemeier, s/he said, “No.”
If all this is true, I think it’s pretty cool. The department head’s boss, Mayor Mark Kruzan, has thrown his lot in with Darryl Neher. In an earlier day and another, less enlightened place, such a meeting would be career suicide for the department head.
Linnemeier

John Linnemeier

Anyway, Linnemeier stopped by my table to chat after his meeting. He said, “Everybody thinks I’m gonna lose. I’m gonna win! Give me a level playing field [he’s refusing corporate donations] and I’ll kick their asses!” Meaning, of course, his two Dem primary opponents and not the citizenry of Bloomington.
BTW, Linnemeier also says he’s got a secret weapon issue that he’s sure will gain him scads o’votes. He made me swear to secrecy “for two weeks.” Alright, my lips are sealed ’till then.

It’s A Small, Small World Hot Air

All local, all the time today.

Meters, Made

A member of the notorious Bloomington Seven had his gang’s most egregious crime against humanity on his mind yesterday.

Tall Steve Volan plopped his skyscraping frame in a chair in the WFHB lobby following his Thursday afternoon music show. He accosted innocent passersby for their feelings on how the recently installed downtown parking meters have directly affected them. (Of course, he might use the term canvassed but, y’know, he’s a politician.)

Anyway, Tall Steve is getting all voice of the people-y now. Perhaps he’s concerned about the seemingly universal negative reaction to the downtown pay-to-park move that went into effect in August. As far as I can gather, the only people happy about the new coin bandits around the Square and surrounding streets are restaurant and cafe owners who want the continuous flow of open parking spaces that meters will produce.

Deatil from photo by Ying Chen/IPM

Meter Matters

The rest of the citizenry is ready to string up Volan, Mayor Mark Kruzan, and the other city council members (the B-7) who voted for the meters.

Next, Volan wants to gather the mobs in a safe place in order to convince them he is indeed a servant of the people. He’s looking to set up one or two public forums in hopes of evoking community input on the meter mess.

The ultimate goal, Volan tells me, is to establish a parking commission here in Bloomington. He revealed there was no blue-ribbon body that pondered the philosophical, moral, and practical considerations of making shoppers dig into their pockets and purses for quarters every time they come downtown. The meters were the brainchild only of the mayor and a few Department of Public Works wonks who crunched numbers and felt a frisson when they concluded that pay parking would dump thousands of dollars a day into the general fund.

Image Delete Message

Natch, pols hate to admit money is the sole reasoning for any decisions they make, so Kruzan et al claim to want to prevent all the nouveau downtown residents from hogging parking spaces all day and night long. Volan says the idea is for residents and downtown employees all to park off-street, thereby leaving an open parking field for customers, diners, and other dignitaries.

The city, from this EP vantage point, sees all the East Coast B-students whose parents have copped them swanky condos downtown, are swell for all the dough they spill in the city but their aircraft carrier-sized SUVs take up much of the available municipal acreage.

Volan was surprised to learn that the surface lot behind the Buskirk-Chumley Theater was not packed even at the busy hour of two in the afternoon. That lot and the multi-story garage on 4th Street offer the first three hours free. “We’ve got to do a better job of getting the word out about that,” Volan said.

Buy Local

Here are three things you should spend your hard-earned cash on.

Krista Detor‘s new CD, her first in four years. Titled Flat Earth Diary, you can still catch a free sample download here. The CD is due out in January. Bloomington’s own Krista Detor is a cool dame; if you’re not yet a fan, where you been, mang?

Detor

Krista Detor

The Rise of the Warrior Cop, by Radley Balko. Former Indiana University journalism student Radley Balko has released a pressing new book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop. Balko cut his teeth as a press snoop with the Indiana Daily Student. Believe it or n. the IDS is my daily paper of choice. Balko looks into the the militarization of this holy land’s thousands of police forces.

Boston Police

Officers Friendly

Apparently, too many police chiefs and city fathers have grown up watching RoboCop-type movies and have conflated the images on the screen with real life. Do you really want your local cops to tool around city streets in fully armored vehicles and be armed with battlefield weapons?

I didn’t think so.

March (Book One), by Rep.  John Lewis (D-Georgia) and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. Lewis, a chairman of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and one of the famed Freedom Riders, got his head broken in Selma, Alabama on what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” His crime? Being one of the leaders of the 1960s civil rights movement.

Bloody Sunday

Lewis, On The Ground

Illustrator Nate Powell now lives in Bloomington. He’s famed for numerous graphic novels, including Any Empire, and is n ow working on a graphic adaptation of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero.

The first entry in the Lewis graphic novel autobiography trilogy recounts his early days as a freedom fighter. I can’t wait for books two and three.

Your Daily Hot Air

A Bigger Responsibility

Personal to Huma Abedin: Your husband has a problem. A big one. He needs help. And you are helping him pretend it doesn’t exist.

Weiner Pix

Anthony Weiner As Carlos Danger

He doesn’t need to be running for mayor of New York just now. Perhaps he should get a nice, stable job helping poor people cope with a culture and economy that’s stacked against them. Then, at night, he can work with a therapist to try to understand why he must send pix of his junk out on social media and why he must sex chat or sext with strangers while married to you. Once he figures that out, he has to change that behavior. If he does, then — and only then — should he consider running for the chief executive position of what is essentially the capital of America.

Huma, you’ve been portrayed in sympathetic magazine portraits as a strong, smart, capable woman. Standing by your man as he grasps for power and continues to cuckold you is not evidence of any of those traits. Appearing at his side and repeating that you’ve forgiven him again and again are not signs that you are brave. Quite the contrary.

 Abedin

Huma Abedin

As a woman in the high profile world of politics, you are a role model for young girls. They should see you moving legislation, organizing voters, bettering this world. Not being an accessory for a hyper-ambitious husband who’s got a monkey on his back.

Now, the both of you, go solve your personal problems.

You’re welcome.

A Rock And A Hard Place

Unless I missed it — and I don’t think I did — the IDS has positioned itself above the fray in the Mitch Daniels/Howard Zinn dust-up.

Save for a couple of student-penned op-eds posted online two days ago, Indiana University’s campus newspaper hasn’t run anything regarding the story that has gained national attention.

Image from Mother Jones

Zinn & Daniels

In case you’ve been holed up, waiting for the scion of an antiquated, pompous British faux-ruling system to appear, the news broke last week that former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels stood on his head while the state’s boss to make sure the late Zinn’s alternative tome, A People’s History of the United States, would not pollute our precious children’s minds in the classroom.

Every news outlet from the Huffington Post to the Daily Caller, and from the New York Times to Democracy Now! has weighed in on the story. Snippets from the emails Daniels exchanged with the state’s Superintendent of Public Education showed up in newspapers across the nation and on broadcasts both local and international.

The irony of it all is the Daniels, now the president of Purdue University, tells anyone who’ll listen that he’s four-square in favor of academic freedom. That is, apparently, unless it allows somebody to challenge the Ayn Rand-ist, free market fetishist, Murrica-is-blessed-by-god view of our holy land’s history.

You’d figure the IDS might jump on the story, considering there’s a question as to whether Daniels was trying to muscle IU to to ban Zinn. Now, I’ve read the emails in toto and I don’t see anything specifically directing any state employees to twist IU arms in the matter. Nevertheless, evidence exists that Daniels was mighty unhappy that Zinn’s book was being used in university history courses.

The IDS is in a unique position to get to the bottom of this. No matter that we’re in summer break right now. The paper still publishes online and hard copy versions. In fact, the IDS was right on top of the story that has been breaking Bloomington’s heart this week: a motorist apparently left a dog in a car with the windows rolled up for a couple of hours Monday. The high temp that day was around 90. The pooch died.

Lousy as this dog story is, it really doesn’t compare with the Daniels/Zinn thing. The IDS also covered the story of the Ohio State University football player who was busted at a Bloomington sports bar Sunday and the case of a 19-year-old who was caught diddling with a 14-year-old in Lower cascades Park Monday. I’m sure everyone involved feels these stories are of paramount importance.

But this is a major state university. And when evidence suggests the former governor has tried to call the academic shots, well, now we’re talking pressing and historic news. Why hasn’t the IDS been all over it?

You can bet I’ll do my best to find out during my next shift writing news at WFHB Thursday.

Wonderful World

The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Friday

THE QUOTE

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” — Marilyn Monroe

Monroe

A CAST OF THOUSANDS

Dig this: Yesterday, the Electron Pencil attracted its 75,000th hit. Honest!

We’ve been online for almost a year and already we’ve outdrawn Super Bowl XLVI, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis last February.

Super Bowl XLVI

70,000, Hah!

And believe you me, we have yet to ask the State of Indiana and the City of Indy for the +$666 million that the NFL Colts did for their home, although The Loved One and I are putting together a request for $666 so we can paint our garage, in which the world headquarters of this communications colossus is located.

So, whoever Ms. or Mr. 75,000 was, thanks. The rest of you must now work doubly hard to become acknowledged as the 100,000th happy EP reader.

O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL

Surfing through senseless interwebs flotsam and jetsam, I came across a rumination on truth and obfuscation on Huffington Post.

Headlined “12 Things You Should Never Lie About,” the piece tells us the average schmo lies three times a day, which makes me — as usual — an outlier. I’m not going to say which side of the average I come down on; that’s your problem.

EWTN Nun

“Never Lie, You Little Bastards.”

Anyway, number one on the list is never lie about having an orgasm. I’ll proudly state that I’ve never lied about having an orgasm, which I’m certain will be warm comfort to the multitudes of citizens with whom I’ve shared a sheet.

I noticed, though, that the list is meant to be a verisimilitude template for women. Okay.

Quite frankly, I’ve never suspected that any women has ever lied to me about the Big O. This is not meant to be a boast that my technique should warrant a chapter all its own in the latest sex manuals. The roster of females I’ve flexed my muscles in front of haven’t felt a need to stroke my ego, either because the state of my ego wasn’t of great concern to them or, more likely, they weren’t the type who felt a need to playact in their lives.

Which brings us to the obligatory reference in the list: The fake orgasm scene in the deli in the movie, “When Harry Met Sally.”

Scene from "When Harry Met Sally"

You Know, This Scene

I’ve never thought Meg Ryan’s “orgasm” in WHMS was all that realistic. It was, in fact, the orgasm of an actress pretending to have an orgasm.

Lovemaking in general on the screen bears as much similarity to reality as fistfights, gun battles, and, well, everything else that Hollywood spends hundreds of millions of dollars on trying to convince you is the real deal.

Ask yourself this: Have you ever kissed anyone the way, say, Bella and that goofball she costars with in the “Twilight” family of TV shows and movies do?

Bella and the Goofball

Screen Kiss

Has anyone ever kissed you the way Angelina Jolie has kissed Antonio Banderas?

Try as I might to have been a Herculean lover in my day, no woman I was ever with raised such a racket as Meg Ryan did in that deli scene. In fact, if any woman had, I probably would have had second thoughts about a second helping. I mean, I’ve never had the desire to be faked to or lied to.

After all, I’m not a Republican.

Now, this: After that iconic scene, how can anyone who exposes his underwear to Meg Ryan ever trust her when she does have an orgasm?

No matter how fab the romp has been, no matter the toys, positions, incantations, substances, and prayers employed, whenever Meg Ryan hoots and hollers with the lights out could her lover ever be certain she wasn’t doing a Sally on him?

I hope John Mellencamp doesn’t read this. I’d hate to ruin things for him.

THE BEST LAID PLANS….

Speaking of sex, The IDS today reports that an orgy went screwy in a room at the Motel 6 on North Walnut Street.

It seems a randy fellow from Alabama came to Bloomington for the festivities after being recruited through a Craig’s List ad. Apparently, the man and his special gal made the trip here so that the woman could, well, explore bisexual themes with the special gal of another man. The men, per agreement, were only to serve as an audience as the sizzling scene took place.

Motel 6, Bloomingon

Field Of Screams

Problems arose when the local man couldn’t restrain himself and, shall we say, ran onto the field of play. The Alabama man’s standards of fair play were violated, it is presumed, and he attempted to convey his displeasure by beating the hell out of the other man as well as his own special gal who, it must be noted, is his fiancé.

Bloomington cops slapped the bracelets on the Alabama man after guests in neighboring rooms phoned to report sounds of the scuffle. The local man and his special gal had hot-footed it out of the motel before the cops arrived.

The Alabama man is expected to be charged with domestic assault and strangulation. His fiancé told the cops he’d tried to strangle her and she sported a swollen face and scrapes. She has since recanted her story and now says she suffered her injuries in an accident.

The story did not include details about the gift registry for the upcoming nuptials.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.” — Jessica Valenti

IT HAPPENED — MAYBE

A young woman reported that she was raped late Friday night/early Saturday morning after attending a fraternity party.

The Indiana Daily Student newspaper carried the story yesterday. Reporter Colleen Sikorski, whom I’ll assume is a woman, wrote the piece. Sikorski twice referred to the incident as an “alleged rape.”

From IDS Online: Click For Full Story

Do our journalism schools teach students to doubt women who report rape?

Hanging out with frat boys when they’re ingesting alcohol (or even when they’re not), is ill-advised for all sentient humans, no matter their sex. Nevertheless, females who choose to surround themselves with hard-drinking privileged young white males who view Tucker Max as a role model don’t deserve to be physically violated.

The young woman was violated after that party.

How do we know? She said so. That’s enough, isn’t it?

Had she called campus police and reported her wallet stolen, would IDS reporters doubt her story? Would the paper have run a piece saying, “Student reports alleged theft”?

We’re still not getting it on the issue of rape.

HEY, I’M THE VICTIM HERE!

Speaking of not getting rape, the Republican Party is in a tizzy over the rhetorical emesis spewed by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin the other day.

Akin, if you’ve been living under a rock of late, said women who suffer “legitimate” rape most likely won’t get pregnant because the “female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

The sane among us agree — Akin is a dope of the highest order.

Not Only That, He Wears A Comb Over

Even Willard Romney shuddered when he heard of Akin’s blatherings. Big shots within the POG have leaned on Akin to quit his race but, scientifically illiterate tough guy that he is, the candidate refused to go quietly into the dark night of stupidity whence he came.

In fact, in the grand tradition of the Republican Party, he’s painting himself as the wronged one. “You misspeak one word in one sentence on one day — don’t you think that there’s a little hyperbole going on here?”

Yeah, Todd, we’re the assholes.

BTW: This isn’t the first time Akin has gorged on his foot. Not by a long shot. Politico lists five goofy statements uttered by the current Congressman from Missouri’s 2nd District. Here are three of them:

  • Regarding the student loan program: “America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff that it has no business tampering in.”
  • “I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for god and a belief that government should replace god.”
  • When asked about an uninsured person who contracts a catastrophic disease: “People have to start being held accountable for their decisions. If somebody’s not buying insurance, then they’re going to have to be selling their car or whatever it is to try to help cover that.”

A real sweetheart, no?

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

Indexed

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

Click For Full Story

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Malibu GrillAlki Scopelitis; 6-9pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Laura Connalion; 6-8:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterBuddhism in Everyday Life Series: “What Is Enlightenment?”, workshop presented by Ani Choekye; 6:30pm

Unity ChurchAuditions for Bloomington Peace Choir; 7pm

◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterAuditions for the African American Dance Company; 7pm

The Player’s PubBottom Road Blues Band; 8pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 8pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of BloomingtonContra dancing; 8pm

The BishopWaxeater, Monogamy Party, Braver, Dead Beach; 9pm

Bear’s PlaceThe Smooth Jazz Trio, The Brothers Hertel, Eric Wells, Mark Keller; 9pm

The BluebirdHairbanger’s Ball; 9pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryOpen house, public viewing through the main telescope; 9:30pm

ONGOING

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th

  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th

  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th

  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th

  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st

  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012

  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st

  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th

  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Television is democracy at its ugliest.” — Paddy Chayevsky

THIS IS THE OPERATIVE STATEMENT — THE OTHERS ARE INOPERATIVE

How can you not love politics?

“He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.”

That was Rick Santorum six weeks ago describing Mitt Romney — a man whom he endorsed yesterday.

Best Friends Forever

Now, if you’re a Dem or you loathe the GOP, don’t start getting huffy and righteous and say something foolish like, Oh, those Republicans — they can’t be trusted. They’ll say anything to get elected.

Let’s go back four short years ago. Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time wagging her finger at Barack Obama during the Dem primaries. Some of her supporters threatened to — gulp! — go Republican if Obama won the nomination. That’s how deep the animus had grown between the two camps. Next thing you knew, both sides had come together to defeat the McCain/Palin ticket that, by all accounts, induced no Clintonistas to switch parties.

See, that’s why I could never be a politician. First, I have no interest in having the skeletons in my closet bared. Second, I know that at some point in time, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from blurting out, “Jeez, can you believe how full of shit I am?”

BTW: recognize the headline at the top of this entry? That was Dick Nixon’s Squealer, Ron Ziegler, speaking to reporters on April 17th, 1973. Operative statements, in Ziegler’s bizarre argot, were simply today’s lies; inoperative statements were yesterday’s.

Animal Farm

THE BUSINESS OF AMERICA IS BUSINESS

Let’s stick with a theme here: How can you not love business?

According to the IDS, a few enterprising students tried to sell ducats online for a c-note apiece to the IU Kelley School of Business commencement ceremony Saturday

An IU spokesbeing issued a statement tut-tutting the scalping deal.

Free Market?

Making money in a free market is the aim of getting a degree from the Kelley school — except, apparently, when you’re trying to make money selling tickets to a celebration of spending four years of your life learning how to make money in a free market.

HILLARY AT THE SUMMIT

Back to Hillary Clinton. It turns out losing the race for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 just might have been the best thing ever to happen to her.

You may recall that Hillary was perhaps the most despised human being in this holy land before Barack Obama came along to wrest the title from her.

WWN Wasn’t Half As Hard On Hil As Fox News

Remember when Bill Clinton told voters he and the missus were a “package deal”? That she was going to be, in essence, a co-president? Middle America had apoplexy — Hillary was going destroy this sacred society by upending our traditional view of what a First Lady should be.

She even had to stop using her preferred hyphenated moniker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, because too many voters figured a woman who keeps her maiden name is most likely a Nazi abortionist.

And then she came out with that famous quote about not being interested in sitting at home and baking cookies. Millions of Americans became convinced at that very moment that she was a also lesbian communist.

I never felt particularly warm about Hil. Oh sure, I voted for Bill (and her — I bought into the co-presidency idea) but she always struck me as a privileged white person, no matter how quasi-progressive she claimed her politics to be.

I always suspected she was incapable of dropping a gratuitous F-bomb or wouldn’t know how to drink a shot of tequila.

Park Ridge, Illinois, the Chicago suburb in which Hil was raised, was chock full of prim, holier-than-thou folks — even those, like HRC, who entertained near-liberal ideas.

Still, I’ve always had great respect for her. She’s tough enough in her own way to scare the bejesus out of her serial-philandering husband. Plus, she’s smart as a whip and ambitious to boot.

Barack Obama saw these same qualities and selected her as his Secretary of State. Oh sure, he wanted to keep her occupied for four years as well, just in case she wanted to challenge him again in 2012. Still, he recognized her strengths.

Anyway, she’s done a fantastic job as a globe-trotting SoS. She’s juggling a potentially nuclear Iran, an uppity China, a schizo Pakistan, a mobbed-up Russia, a broke European Union, Myanmar, India, the nagging Isreal/Palestine issue, the Arab Spring, and too many other hot spots to mention. Somehow, the world hasn’t blown itself apart just yet.

She may not be tough enough to suck down a ounce of Tarantula Plata without gagging but I doubt there’s a male national leader on this Earth who has the cagliones to cross her.

Why, just yesterday she told the Bangladesh government in no uncertain terms to lay off the Grameen Bank, the innovative microlender founded by Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed Yunus that helps women in south Asia develop small businesses and escape poverty. A while ago, Bangladesh had given the axe to Yunus as boss of the bank. Hil’s now staring that government down, saying don’t mess with Grameen.

Trust me, she’s writing her own entry in American history books.

But had she become president, she would have been savaged for her imagined sins nearly as much as Obama has for his. Who knows what form her “Birther” opposition might have taken. Most likely, there’d have been a constant flow of Hillary’s-gonna-force-our-daughters-into-dykedom “revelations” coming from right wing bloviators and Me Party-ists.

She might have had to spend her precious time denying that she leads a satanic sex cult in the White House basement.

It’s better being Secretary of State.

INDIANA DEMS HAD BETTER BE RIGHT ABOUT MOURDOCK

Finally, speaking of Me Party-ists, their latest darling in Indiana, Richard Mourdock (“End the EPA!”), looks like a lock to unseat long-time US Senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary today.

Now we’ll see if the state’s Democratic party theory that Mourdock is a preferable foe for their nominee Joe Donnelly in November holds any water.

Donnelly’d better win. Mourdock has been endorsed by none other than Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann.

She’s Back!

I know, I know — you’d finally swept that name clear out of your consciousness and now I remind you that she’s still around. Hey, politics is a rough game.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center Exhibits at various galleries: Angela Hendrix-Petry, Benjamin Pines, Nate Johnson, and Yang Chen; all through May 29th

Trinity Episcopal ChurchArt exhibit, “Creation,” collaborative mosaic tile project; through May 31st

Monroe County Public LibraryArt exhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

People’s ParkLunch Concert Series, Starkraven; 11:30am

The Venue Fine Arts & GiftsGuitarist Erol Ozserver; 5:30-7:30pm

IU Woodburn Hall, Room 101 — Secular Alliance Movie Night; 6-8pm

Jake’s NightclubKaraoke; 6pm

Deer Park ManorSteppings Stones’ annual volunteer awards & recognition ceremony; 6:30-8pm

Monroe County History CenterCivil War round table, “The Truth about the Confederate Flag”; 7-8pm

The Player’s PubBlue jam, King Bee and the Stingers; 8pm

The BishopEP release party, New terrors with Prayer Breakfast & The New Heaven and the New Earth; 9pm

The BluebirdCoheed and Cambria; 9pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“It may be said with a degree of assurance that not everything that meets the eye is as it appears.” — Rod Serling

KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON

Bear with me kiddies. I’m in a big hurry this morning; there’s only time to put up the event listings right now. I’ll get around to my daily blather ASAP.

 

Late

DO YOUR DUTY

I’m wearing my “I Voted Today!” sticker on my shirt as I type this.

Had to go pay a parking ticket at City Hall and happened to pass the Curry Building on 7th Street. I figured, hell, may as well pop in and vote. As long as I have to pay some hard-earned cash to the government, it makes sense that I participate in the electoral process as well.

You know, the way Goldman Sachs, AT&T, Citigroup, and Lockheed-Martin do. Only their dough goes a lot further. They own much of the Senate and the House.

Me? I probably only own one of Shelli Yoder‘s old dishwashing sponges.

What Twenty Bucks’ll Get You In The Lobbies Of Congress Nowadays

Anyway, go vote.

“WHAT DID RUDY GIULIANI EAT FOR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING?”*

I hate to burst the Republicans’ bubble (no, let me amend that: I love to burst the Republicans’ bubble) but Mitt Romney and his pal Rudy Giuliani calling Barack Obama’s mentioning of the successful raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout a year ago “playing politics” is a bit disingenuous, no?

Come now, boys, Rudy baby was all washed up in politics the day before 9/11 happened. New Yorkers couldn’t wait to be rid of him.

“Put Your Mask On! (And Vote For Me.)”

Then the planes hit the Twin Towers and Giuliani was caught on videotape emphatically telling someone off-screen to put their mask on and next thing you know he’s a presidential candidate.

That, my friends, is politics.

(*Answer to the smart-assed joke circulating during the 2008 presidential campaign: “The World Trade Center — he didn’t have anything else.”)

WELL, J SCHOOL IS FOR LEARNING

Not to make light of the untimely passing of an IU student Friday, but the IDS headline for the story about Julian Eisner’s death is a tad, shall we say, clumsy.

It reads more like a hostage threat in an al Qaeda daily paper than anything else.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Monroe County Public LibraryExhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings done by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st, 9am-9pm

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st, 9am-4:30pm

From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web

Twin Lakes Recreation CenterSenior Expo, health fair, free screenings; 10am

IU Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryMFA & BFA Thesis 3 exhibitions; through May 5th, Noon

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th, 1:30-5pm

Monroe County History CenterPresentation, “Pajama Genealogy,” genealogist Randi Richardson speaks about doing genealogy at home; 2pm

IU CinemaStudent short films; 6:30pm

Ivy Tech, Daniels Way, Lamkin Hall — 1st annual Food Flix international cooking video awards; 6:30pm

Monroe County Public LibraryCenter for Sustainable Living discussion, “How to Bicycle to Work and Still Look Great: Tips & Tricks”; 7-8pm

Bike To Work In Style!

Bear’s PlaceAmericana jam; 7pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 8pm

Harmony SchoolContra Dancing, hosted by Bloomington Old Time Music and Dance Group, beginners welcome; 8-10:30pm

IU Kirkwood ObservatoryPublic night sky viewing, rain or shine; 9pm

Andromeda Galaxy

The BishopSpirit of ’68 Presents: Retribution Gospel Choir; 9pm

IU CinemaIndiana Filmmakers Network presents Made in Bloomington film and video; 9;30pm

Uncle Elizabeth’sBoP; 10pm & midnight

Jake’s NightclubBattle of the bands; 10pm

Vandaveer

Vintage Phoenix Comic BooksListening party, “The Best Show on WFMU”; 9pm-midnight

IU CinemaIndiana Filmmakers Network Short Films: Made in Bloomington; 9:30pm

Rachael’s CafeWringer, Arms Aloft; 10pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” — Albert Einstein

THE BRAIN

A woman I know was thumbing through the Indiana Daily Student yesterday when suddenly she stopped, jerked the paper closed, and shuddered.

Ugh. Not for me,” she said.

“What is it?” I had to ask, because clearly she wanted me to.

She reopened the paper and showed me a story about the big new public art exhibition that’ll be taking place in our bustling metrop through the fall.

That is, Jill Bolte Taylor‘s brainchild (sorry), “The Brain Extravaganza!” It features 22 five-feet tall fiberglass brains, parked here and there around town. The hunks of gray matter were designed by her and sculptor Joe LaMantia.

Jill Bolte Taylor Loves Brains

Artists have adopted the brains and gussied them up to their creative hearts’ desire. People will be able to buy the oversized organs, thus raising dough for the Jill Bolte Taylor Brains non-profit org that, in her words, supports “brain awareness, appreciation, exploration, education, injury prevention, neurological recovery, and the value of movement on mental and physical health.”

Phew.

Brain In A Jar

(Note for our Bloomington readers: The following three paragraphs are written for the benefit of non-Bloomingtonians who aren’t as intimately familiar with JBT’s story as we are.)

Bolte Taylor, of course, is a world-renowned brain on two legs. She was already a respected neuroanatomist when, at the tender age of 37, she woke up one morning and found her thinking and motor processes bizarrely jumbled. Thanks to her brain expertise, she knew she was suffering a stroke.

She eventually had a golfball-sized blood clot removed from her brain. Her language center, among other structures, were profoundly affected. Her recover continues to this day.

She gave a hugely compelling TED talk about her experience, the response to which inspired her to write a book, called “My Stroke of Insight.” It became a New York Times Bestseller and Bolte Taylor went on to be fawned over by Oprah Winfrey. Her story is now the basis for a planned Ron Howard film.

Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED Talk

Anyway, Bolte Taylor and LaMantia’s fiberglass brains will be dedicated today. Here’s Bolte Taylor describing them: “Big beautiful anatomically correct brains with 12 pairs of cranial nerves and all the gyri and sulci a girl could want on a brain.”

Surely, such visual exactitude is what caused my friend’s stomach to churn yesterday morning. For the less squeamish among us, they’ll be objects of celebration.

Local husband and wife artists Patricia and Jon Hecker have done a brain. See a series of pictures of their work-in-progress on Patricia’s Facebook page.

Brains In The Brawn Room At BHSS

Get on over to the Bloomington High School South gym for a launch party today, noon to 2:00pm. Bolte Taylor and LaMantia will be there as will all 22 artist-decorated brains. It’s the only chance you’ll have to see them all in one place. The brains will be carted off to their display sites after the party.

I can’t think of a better organ to celebrate in these benighted days than the brain.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmer’s Market; 8am-1pm

Razors Image BarbershopFree blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, HIV, BMI screenings & nutrition counseling; 9am-6pm

IU Gladstein Fieldhouse, Indoor Track FacilityRedsteppers dance unit auditions; 10am

Upland Brewing CompanyMaifest, “Rock Out with Your Bock Out”; 11a-1a

Trained Eye Arts CenterWomen Exposed 7; Noon

Story Inn, Brown CountyIndiana Wine Fair; Noon-7pm

IU Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryBFA & MFA Thesis 3 Exhibitions; Noon-4pm, through May 5th

Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit, “Picturing Archeology”; 1-5pm, through July 1st

IU CinemaFilm, Orson Welles’ “Chimes at Midnight”; 3pm

Welles

AmVets Post 2000Benefit dinner & silent auction for Special Olympics Indiana; 5pm

Twin Lakes Recreation CenterBleeding Heartland Rollergirls vs. Brew City Bruisers; 6pm

Bloomington High School North AuditoriumBloomington Symphony Orchestra, “Finale Fantastique”; 7:30-10pm

IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — Film, “The Artist”; 8 & 11pm

Buskirk-Chumley TheaterIU Soul Revue; 8pm

IU AuditoriumIU Straight No Chaser; 8pm

The Player’s PubSheila Stephen; 8pm

The Palace TheatreCowboy Sweethearts; 8pm

Comedy AtticJeremy Essig; 8 & 10:30pm

Max’s PlaceGlenn Furr Agency; 9pm — Perfunctory This Band; 11pm

Bear’s PlaceCooked Books, Crys, Kam Kama; 9pm

The BluebirdThe Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band; 9pm

The BishopSoul in the Hole with the Vallures; 10pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.” — Stephen Hawking

THE TRADITIONS OF THE LITTLE 500

One of the Boys of Soma, who asked not to be identified, revealed Saturday morning that he did not find any passed-out drunk IU students on his front porch, as he usually does every year during Little 500 weekend.

He did say he found a number of slices of pizza on the lawn, though.

The Delta Gamma sorority won the women’s Little Five on Friday. The Indiana Daily Student reports that three ancient Greek letters won the men’s race Saturday afternoon. The Cyrillic alphabet of the Slavic languages is expected to appeal the result.

Controversy After This Year’s Little 500

KIDS ASK THE DARNEDEST THINGS

Mark off Tuesday, April 24th, on your calendars. Bloomington’s teenagers that evening will hold the Democratic candidates’ feet to the fire in a debate between the five contenders at Bloomington High School South.

The Kids Take Over

Students from both South and North will hurl question at Gen. Jonathan George, John Griffin Miller, Col. John Tilford, Robert Winningham, and Shelli Yoder for an hour and a half beginning at 7:00pm.

The Indiana primary will be held Tuesday, May 8th, with the winner among the five Democrats going against first-term Republican Todd Young in November.

The things that make most high school kids annoying should come in quite handy in the debate. Corporate media animals generally ask polite or at least irrelevant questions. The kids, though, being direct and irreverent, ought to pepper the candidates with queries about the schools, the environment, our endless wars, taxes, and other things that, like, y’know, affect us.

Todd Young looks like a good bet to keep his seat in the general election but I can always hope.

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD COUNTRY

Gather all the children and bring them indoors. Lock your doors and windows and pull down the shades.

This holy land has officially and incontrovertibly gone mad.

Orly Taitz is running for the United States Senate from California.

Taitz

Taitz is challenging the Golden State’s senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, who’s been in office since 1992. California runs a blanket non-partisan primary for statewide elective office. The candidates who finish first and second in the June 5th primary will face each other in the November general election.

I have no idea how this one got past me. Apparently, Taitz has been running since early November, when she told some EPA-hating, Ann Coulter-carrying news aggregator website about her plans. The announcement of her candidacy did not cause the nation’s news media to activate the Emergency Alert System.

I may even have seen a quickie story on her quixotic run but the rational part of my brain reflexively interpreted it as an Onion-style satire.

Really, everything about Taitz seems to be an Onion satire. For instance, when she was considering her run for the Senate back in September, she told the Sacramento Bee that one of the reasons she has a good chance to win is that she speaks Hebrew.

Hebrew?

Perhaps she once watched the Cecil B, DeMille epic “The Ten Commandments” and upon learning it was made in Hollywood, concluded that biblical Israel was really in California.

This Occurred Near Anaheim

I mean, what else could explain Taitz-ness other than her and her followers’ inability to distinguish between reality and fiction?

Taitz’s claim to fame is her role as “Queen of the Birthers.” She’s certain Barack Obama has falsified his birth certificate, his Social Security number, and his college transcripts, among other nefarious acts, to become the first secret Muslim mole elected president. She believes Obama comes from Kenya, which is fitting because she comes from the moon.

Orly Taitz’s Childhood Home

Survey USA earlier this month conducted a poll of likely California voters and found that the incumbent Feinstein leads all comers with 51 percent. Taitz in the same poll drew a single percentage point, placing her in a tie for fourth pace with 11 other candidates and above nine candidates who couldn’t even garner one percent of the vote.

Still, some political animals think Taitz could sneak into the second spot based purely on name recognition alone.

Democracy, my friends, can be a very dangerous thing.

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?

[Ed.’s Note: Welcome to the next phase of The Electron Pencil’s growth. From here on out, we’ll be running daily events listings in a section we’re naming Go. Many of this weekend’s listings are late because we’re still messing with the layout and design. What you see here now might not be what you see in ten minutes. So consider this installment of Go to be your beta version. Indulge us — we want to see how things look and work. Be here tomorrow, though, for the real thing. Thanks.]

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc. (alphabetical venue info)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

◗ Kent Farm, IU Research & Teaching Preserve — Bird hike with IU Biology Professors Susan and Jim Hengeveld; 7am

◗ IU Tennis Center — IU Women’s Tennis vs. Northwestern; 11am

◗ Madame Walker Theatre — Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Fest; 12pm

◗ Sembower Field — IU Baseball vs. Georgie Southern; 1pm

◗ IU Softball Field — IU Softball vs. Northwestern, doubleheader; 2pm

◗ Sweeney Hall — Music & Video Recital, Jeffrey Haas and John Gibson; 2pm

◗ Monroe Lake, Paynetown SRA — Monroe Lake Volunteer Call-Out; 3:30pm

◗ Player’s Pub — Benefit for the Red Cross; 3-8pm

◗ Max’s Place — Project School Poetry Ready; 3:30pm

◗ The Kinsey Institute — opening reception, exhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; 4-7pm

◗ Bub’s Burgers — Poker; 5:30pm

◗ IU Cinema — DW Griffith film, “Orphans of the Storm”; 6:30pm

◗ Bear’s Place — Ryder Film Series: “Chico and Rita”; 7pm

◗ Buskirk-Chumley Theater — Trashion Refashion; 7pm

◗ IU Auditorium — European Union Youth Orchestra, 7pm

◗ Merrill Hall, Recital Hall — All-Campus Orchestra, Benjamin Bolter, conductor; 8:30pm

◗ IU Auditorium — “An Overture to Europe Day” Reception, 9pm

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them.” — Alfred Hitchcock

THE READING MENACE

Books are dangerous things. That’s what quite a few jittery folks in this holy land think.

There are enough bibliophobes around to cause heaps of trouble for librarians who are brazen and perverted enough to stock their shelves with certain titles that any god-fearing soul knows will weaken the nation and destroy the family.

Herewith is the American Library Association’s list of 2011’s ten most challenged books in these Great United States, Inc.:

  • The Lauren Myracle series including “ttyl,” “ttfn,” and “l8r”
  • The Kim Dong Hwa series “The Color of Earth”
  • “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • “My Mom’s Having a Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy” by Dori Hillestad Butler
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie
  • The “Alice” series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
  • “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones
  • The “Gossip Girl” series by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Harper Lee, Contributor To Delinquency

Any of these books may well turn your child into a young socialist or aspiring terrorist. If you are an older person and you even inadvertently read one of these tomes, you’ll suddenly find yourself wishing to acquit black men falsely accused of crimes, use indelicate language, and — worst of all — possibly think about sex.

BULLIED BOY

Drop everything you’re doing right now and pick up a copy of the Indiana Daily Student or click over to the IDS website. Read the unsigned editorial about the personal struggle of a self-described chunky Hispanic latent homosexual who endured years of bullying at the hands of his schoolmates.

If it doesn’t make you cry, you’re probably dead.

The author of the piece points out that a conservative Christian Cro-Magnon man named Douglas Wilson is slated to speak at IU Friday. Wilson thinks current anti-bullying efforts let gay and lesbian kids off the hook. They’re bad seeds, he concludes.

I checked out Wilson’s website. Man, this guy is a piece of work. He links the late IU sex researcher Alfred Kinsey with Nazism. He also espouses age-old Puritan chestnuts like a wife should be submissive to her husband (but not in the fun, light bondage way, either).

Nazi?

Here’s an example of Wilson’s “thinking” on Barack Obama’s health care reform bill: “When they urge the passage of Obamacare because this person will now ‘have coverage,’ they overlook the fact that nothing good can come from men wanting to be God.”

Wait, what?

Wilson’s wife also has a blog. They’re both the kind of folk who need to cite a Bible passage for every thing they say. Only their Bible doesn’t seem to have a passage advising them not to terrorize kids who are struggling with their sexuality.

SCARY COP

I’ve long suspected noted brute-with-a-badge Joe Arpaio is playing with a short deck. Now I know it’s true.

The longtime Maricopa County (Arizona) sheriff jumped on the Birther bandwagon months ago. He’s upping the ante now. Arpaio’s current take on that particular psychotic reaction makes earlier Birther charges seem almost sane.

“America’s Toughest Sheriff”

Tough guy Joe now says the Republicans are in on the scheme!

Yep. GOP senators and even the motley crew running for the Republican nomination for president all have have thrown in their lots with the conspirators who took a Kenyan baby and groomed him to become the President of the United States.

Not even Stephen King could come up with this stuff.

ONLY 90 MILES AWAY

Does the thought strike you that this great nation is riding a time machine backward?

Guess who’s in the headlines again, 54 years after the Cuban revolution, 50 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and fully four years after he quit as Cuba’s boss because he was getting too old and feeble to terrify anybody anymore.

Yep. Fidel Castro.

America, I’ll Be Living In Your Nightmares For The Next Fifty Years!

I’m not part of Castro’s fan club. There’ve been good and bad things to say about his bully-boy reign. Sure, everybody can read and health care coverage is universal in Cuba. But just try being a dissident and see how far that’ll get you on the island.

Anyway, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who has no filter between his reptilian brain and his mouth, the other day was talking about the Marlins new stadium which is located in Miami’s Little Havana district.

Perhaps Guillen, not normally known as a sage political observer, figured Hmm, lots of Cubans around here. I’d better say something nice about Castro.

So he gushed about the Havana strongman. “I love Fidel Castro,” he brayed. “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years but that son of a bitch is still here.”

Suddenly, Guillen found out that the nearly one million Cubans who live in Miami are the ones who’ve wanted to slice Fidel’s throat this last half century. Don’t ask me why, but there’s hardly a group on Earth with longer memories and holding a deeper grudge than the people who fled Cuba after Castro took over.

Miami has rarely seen a storm like the one that’s blowing over town right now.

Local pols are screaming that Guillen should be fired. A state legislator is calling for “punitive measures” against him, according to the Associated Press.

The owner of Miami’s Major League Baseball team has suspended Guillen for five games.

No one knows if this will be enough to satisfy the baying hounds who right now are ringing Marlins Stadium, calling for Guillen’s head.

Look, Guillen’s a big-mouthed dope. So are Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus and every other professional gabber who has delivered racist, sexist, insensitive, insulting, or deliriously uninformed diatribes. But we don’t punish people for stupid talk in my country. We don’t take their jobs away from them.

If we did, everybody would be in hot water and nobody would have a job.

Not The Most Respected Political Commentator Around

Wait a minute…, everybody is in hot water and nobody does have a job. Oh well, you know what I mean.

Back to this going back in time bit, though. Wasn’t it just a few years before Fidel Castro blew into the national consciousness that we proud Americans were punishing folks and taking away their livelihoods just for talking or thinking the wrong way?

It looks like old Joe McCarthy has never really gone away.

TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

Tyrone Davis’s soul hit from the spring of 1970.

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